Mendoza: With woods, you just don’t lose hope

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Friday, August 1, 2014


ONE thing I like in Tiger Woods is, he continues to exhibit his patented brand of demeanor: A warrior to the very end. He may have played very, very badly in the recent British Open—is making the cut bad enough for one who’s had only two rounds in five months before plunging into a major?

A back surgery on March 31 had sidelined Woods and in his first comeback tournament, he got cut. Then in the British Open, he made the cut on the dot. Next, he finished 69th—or fourth to last.

Disappointing?

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Not to me. As I said, he just came back. The rust razes him as yet.

The fact he is moving on, not throwing in the towel, not waving the white flag, reminds me of his stunning one-shot victory from two strokes down with one hole left in the 10-and-under World Juniors in San Diego, California, some 30 years or so ago.

I was right there, a witness to drama worth remembering—and retelling. He birdied the last hole to win by one as the leader (Filipino Martin Valdes) blinked to make bogey.

So, don’t look now, but here he is again, hotly pursuing, treading, the beaten path.

Woods fired a two-under-par 68 in Round One of the World Golf Championship in Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio.

Not bad as it had put him tied for ninth with five others, including Spain’s Sergio Garcia, the joint-runner-up with American Rickie Fowler two weeks ago at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, during the Open Championship.

With his opening-round 68, Woods goes into today’s Round Two four shots behind solo leader Marc Leishman (64) of England, and three behind American Ryan Moore (65), and former major champions Charl Schwartzel (65) and Justin Rose (65).

Fowler, always in the Top 5 in his last five tournaments or so, including the past three majors Masters, US Open and British Open, was at 67 in a four-way logjam—or just one shot ahead of Woods.

For Woods, those are margins not too big to overhaul.

And, if it’s any consolation, Woods is one stroke up on Rory McIlroy, the recent two-shot victor of the British Open after a commanding 6-shot margin with one round left.

Remember, in winning this tournament for the eighth time last year, Woods anchored the victory on a 61.

Patience, my dear.(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 02, 2014.

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